City of Lies by Sam Hawke

This was a book that lured me in and slowly seduced me with its intricate world building and immersive story line.

When a person in an honourable position suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, you have 2 options – have an open investigation or engage in a covert operation to determine whether or not it was sinister.. Oh.. and you have one clue: poison.

A story of treachery and intrigue that is told in 2 perspectives; a reliable poison proofer and an unreliable understudy. Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he’s a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. Jovan’s sister Kalina is the understudy. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state. But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising…and angry…

Besides the slowly developing story line and trying to determine “who done it” what I enjoyed the most was the imaginative composition of poisons we learn about in each description that started each chapter…

With a steady pace and development, this is a book that is recommended to those who love fantasy fiction and intricate world building.

-Annie

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

4 Stars – Omg the plot twists!

Three Dark Crowns #1

Triplet sisters Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella are graced with very different magical powers (poisoner, naturalist and elementalist). They must follow their predecessors’ steps and fight to the death to become the sole queen of Fennbirn when they turn 16. This book is something of a mesh between Game of Thrones meets Pretty Little Liars meets The Crown’s Game!

I loved the plot twists and the magical powers. Things I thought would happen didn’t (which is great!). I am loving how the game skyrocketed between the three queens after a certain catastrophic event – and who can blame them?! This first book sets up well for the sequel but also has its own shocking twists and turns. The fight for the throne have gone bloody, personal and ever more strategic. I’ve got Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” song ringing my head… Recommended for fantasy readers. I also recommend that you don’t give up at the beginning even though it is a little slow because the plot twists are well worth the read.

– NJ

Book 2 One Dark Throne Review is here!

Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads